Mens Fall 2012 buying trip

19 Jan

As the mens buyer (among many other things) for the Dredgers Union, I go to New York twice a year on buying trips where I select, or “buy” merchandise that will be in the DU for future seasons.  I typically go to trade shows and see what’s happening in the world of menswear and mens accessories.  The past two seasons were not all that impressive, due mostly, in my opinion, to the economic downturn causing designers to “play it safe”.  We’re on the back end of a strong resurgence of the “work wear” look, so what’s next?

I was happy to see designers and labels coming out of their shells a little bit and taking some risks.  Boring and Safe are never good trends to subscribe to.  Here are some images from one day of my trip this week.

The two shows i had to see were located in lower Manhattan.  This, along with the show discount, had me staying in the Soho Grand Hotel.  By far the nicest hotel stay I have ever had for any NY trip.

The early morning walk to my first show of the day, Project.

Most shows are getting smaller as more and more brands are going out of biz.  Project used to be around 2,000 brands.  Now there are just 150, and you might walk by thinking it’s just a restaurant…

The other show I go to is called (capsule).  This show started about 5 years ago and was just 40 brands.  My old label, WRATH ARCANE, was one of them.  (Capsule) is one of the few shows that has seen growth, with  well over 300 brands from around the world.  But their turnover rate is high.  I would say at least 20% of the brands won’t be there next season.  The market is just too competitive.

Inside one wing of (capsule).

This is the view from the lounge/dj booth.  The dj is a friend of mine from the old WRATH ARCANE days.  We used to get a bit tipsy together in Vegas.  The show has grown enough so that his dj booth was situated above the show, with it’s own bar, barbershop, and shoe shine stand.  He was stoked and called it, “pretty pimp”.

One section of (capsule) was “outdoorsy”.  They even had woodchips all over the floor.  It smelled nice, but was a bit over the top.  Haha.

On my way back to the hotel I noticed that someone had hung Christmas lights under a construction walkway to make the experience more enjoyable…

I ended the day by reviewing a fabric binder dropped of at the hotel for me by one of the DU fabric vendors.  I was looking for fabrics for DU F12…  and maybe having some beers.

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One Response to “Mens Fall 2012 buying trip”

  1. 23skidoo January 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    haha. looks awesome! are there many good vendor shows in LA?

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